General > Epics and Accidents

Rappel Mistake - Double Check Always

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While climbing at Kinsman today a climber fell off the belay from the tree on Shamrock and landed on the snow covered ledge 15 feet below and fortunately was stopped from falling to the ground by the snow. We talked to his partner on the ground who wasn't sure what happened. When we walked by the climber was back at the belay.

Later we ran into them at the Woodstock Station and discussed the incident. Evidently when he clipped his ATC into his locking biner all he clipped was the ATC and not the ropes. He leaned back and down he went. Other than a sore shoulder he was unhurt. And realizes how damn lucky he was.

I don't know what others do but I triple check what I've done and always test weight the rappel before I unclip from the anchor.

More than anything I'm glad the climber was OK.

Admin Al:

As discussed before.... aren't you still clipped in when putting the rope through whatever device you are using ???

Strandman, it sounds like he clipped in his rappel device loop (but missing the ropes) and then unclipped from the anchor before testing/weighting the rappel. Once he unclipped and went to weight the rappel he went for a ride.

I guess.. i always like to cinch up the rap lines , nice and tight, no slack in the system. This way you actually slack your clip in and weight the rap line.


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